Sunday, June 10, 2007

I'll take Eliot Smith, The Replacements, and Advanced Particle Physics Please

Explaining the significance of my stumbling onto iTunes University this weekend to my wife was pretty hilarious. She loves me and tolerates me, but it must have been too much for her to hear me signaling the end of the traditional college education as being upon us. We had a good laugh as I regaled her with tales of how much money we would save on the kids' college education. I mean, how much does 30GB iPod cost? Certainly much less than the loans I am still paying off.

iTunes University is a collection of podcasts and vodcasts created by university professors and made available for free. Free university lectures on topics that I can choose from? Unbelievable. This is where it begins to get interesting for me. I have always wanted to design my own course of study, and this begins to allow me to do that. Add this to the idea of a personal learning environment and I can begin to see how it is completely possible to be the driver, even more so than we can be now.

We are equipping some of our teachers with tablet PC's and wireless projectors next year, and in designing the things that I think they will need next year, this fits really well. I love that they can break from what they might have done in the past, i.e. show a movie, and break out Professor so-and-so from Vanderbilt who is discussing the very same topic they are learning about, but has a different spin, or better resources. Powerful.

Question: is it too intimidating?


Barbara said...

First...which tablet did you choose? On the topic of tablets you may want to see my comment on Dave Warlick's post " When will Steve Jobs get it?"

As for intimidating... ot sure if that is it but yes it is hard to relinquish authority and bring in outside voices, at least for some so model, model, model.

Patrick Higgins said...

We are going with a Gateway 14' screen (CX210X), and I will be sure to look up that post and comment.

I've set up a map at Mindmeister, which I will publish shortly, that details the extent to which just having the tablet in class changes what you can do. What I am hoping is to create a toolbox for each subject area teacher to pull from. We will see how it turns out.

On another note, I don't know what your summer schedule is like, but I am teaching at least on session of a class called Administrator 2.0, and I would love to skype you in as an administrator who is embracing change. I haven't been given any firm dates yet, but the end of August is looking likely. Let me know if you are interested.

Barbara said...

I am humbled but honored to be of service. My summer is all about technology. NECC and the BLC, the only time I will be out of reach is when I camp in early August.
I will look forward to your published map.